Event Promotion on the Web
Using the web to promote your event starts at home - on your own website - with an "event page." Once you have crafted and posted your event page, all remaining efforts are used to drive traffic to it.
The "event page"
An event page is a single page about a single event with a single URL on the sponsoring organization's website. With it, you can drive traffic to it from other websites, calendars, email, social media, etc. I cannot emphasize enough how important it is to have this single source of definitive information about an event. With it, all additional online promotion flows relatively easily. Without it, you're missing opportunities.
Before you begin, note that some events have multiple sponsors. In these cases, you should coordinate with the website managers of the other sponsors to determine which website will host the event page. The other websites will then simply link to it.
If your website uses Drupal, you can have a calendar installed that makes adding event pages easy. But even if you don't insall a calendar, you can still create an event page. Just create it like an ordinary page.
Make sure that your event page has at least the following...
- Event title
- Date and time. Make sure to include the year.
- Location. Link to an online map, where possible.
- Cost. If there isn't any admission charge, specify "Free."
If applicable, specify these things, too...
- Is the event open to the public or is it restricted to a smaller audience - eg. faculty only?
- Event sponsor(s)
- Speaker/performer bio if applicable
- Parking information
- Contact email and/or telephone number for miscellaneous user questions
- Images. Make your images clickable to high-res versions.
Don't skimp on the information. If the event involves a lecturer or speaker, post a short biography with the speaker's picture. If the event is a film, post the year, running time and an image of the film's official one-sheet. If the event is part of a series - eg. the Visiting Writers Series - post a teaser for the series itself and link it to the series' URL. Include attractive imagery where possible. Make people want to attend. Make them curious about the other events that you offer, too.
Once you have added the event page, you can begin driving traffic to it.
University events calendar
The university events calendar is now Google Calendar-based, with an extension for "Featured Events." Please view instructions at Submit an Event for submitting your event so that it shows up in Google Calendar. "Featured Events" are hand-picked by University Communications. Space is limited. Listing your event in Google Calendar with an accompanying URL for your event page in the event description is the best thing that you can do to bring it to our attention. ("Featured Events" will not be pointed to Google Calendar entries.)
Appalachian Today is the news and event hub for the university. It has sections for current/upcoming events as well as ongoing events (such as exhibitions and series) and event-related stories. This site also spools events to the university's top-tier website http://appstate.edu, so getting your event listed on Appalachian Today makes it eligible to appear on appstate.edu.
Once you have created your event page, send its URL to firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll get you added to the calendar.
Got a Facebook or Twitter presence? Drive traffic to your event page with statuses and tweets. And if your social media accounts are listed on Connect with Appalachian State University, the university's primary Facebook and Twitter accounts might share and retweet you.
On-campus linking opportunities
Get your event in front of as many eyes as you can. Here's are some good on-campus websites that might provide links to your event...
If your event deals with environmental sustainability, contact the Office of University Sustainability and suggest that they include it in their Green Events.
Search out other websites on campus (and elsewhere), contact those website managers and request that they link to your event from their calendars.